Road-trip season has arrived! A little preparation can help ensure that just because YOU are on vacation your health can remain a priority…with the occasional holiday indulgence of course! (We would NEVER tell anyone it’s not a good idea to stop by the original Graeter’s Ice Cream shop in St. Mathews, KY!) But here are some ideas and tips to keep in mind so you can enjoy the travel indulgences guilt free!
Remember that healthy eating while traveling STARTS where you STOP. Planning ahead us avoid the otherwise inevitable snack grabbing that happens at the mega-gas-store-restaurant-station!
So here is a (far from exhaustive!) list of ours. Be sure to share yours with us also!
1. Save room for a cooler. Having a cooler that can be restocked with ice along the way expands the options for healthy eating. Like pre-packed or individual size greek yogurt and fruit, cuts of Greenridge Farm’s Naturals turkey (our current favorite) or our milk type of choice to whip up a favorite protein shake with some ice in a shaker bottle.
2. Nuts, seeds and a bit of dried fruit or dark chocolate coffee beans (our favorite) helps give a burst of protein and healthy fat for energy to power through that windshield time. Just remember to consume in moderation because this is a healthy option, but is calorie dense and (I know from experience) we can plow through half our day’s caloric budget in a few big handfuls. So we pre-pack our trail mix combos in snack size bags or containers to grab as you go.
3. Hydrate well! It’s tempting to limit our fluid intake on a road trip to save time on bathroom breaks and keep us out of the danger zone of gas stations and fast food joints for a “bathroom break.” However, if we have planned ahead in other ways we can know that all it needs to be is a bathroom break and not a shopping spree on high calorie, salty, sugary fat filled snacks when we stop. Load up on water and if you need an energy boost make sure to stock up on Shaklee’s pomegranate or green macha energy tea for a consistent and steady source of focus and avoid getting a case of the nods behind the wheel.
4. Stretch…and move if you can. We keep an eye out for or map rest stops along the way and take advantage of them. (they are our tax dollars at work! Hopefully) Not only does this keep us out of the nutritional danger zones along our route, but usually they are equipped with ample room to stretch, park benches to eat a packed lunch and paths to walk to keep blood moving. In addition, just like in air travel, we take time every 20-30 minutes in the car to do some ankle circles and calf stretches to keep blood from pooling in your lower extremities, which is just good to avoid in general and in many cases helps avoid harmful and even deadly blood clots. Stop the Clot is a charitable organization run, in part, by a friend of ours that educates and resources the public on this threatening health issue. It’s a great wealth of info! https://www.stoptheclot.org/
Click here for a resource to locate rest areas on your route. There are also a number of apps available that will help plan out these stops as well!
We all put a lot of effort into planning our vacations, especially road trips, but often the part of travel we addressed here is not considered in much depth. However, with a little planning and prep work you can arrive at your destination while still staying on track to your health commitments and goals. Instead of getting bogged down with sugar, salt and fat and wasting calories in the car you can arrive feeling great and energized to take on the events at your destination and even be able to enjoy whatever regional food-fare might be waiting for you!
So remember that healthy travel STARTS where you STOP.
Go Well. Be Well. Travel Well!
June 12, 2017 at 11:16 pm
Yes! With all the traveling we do, I had to learn the hard way how to make our trips more enjoyable. Changing our food intake has drastically changed the way we travel. We pack our own homemade “lunchables” that each kid gets to choose an ingredient for. Then we can stop at rest stops or playgrounds and have so much time to get up and move around rather than waiting for food and everyone feeling lethargic and constipated halfway thru the trip. We pack easy healthy snacks but ones we don’t normally have at home, so we all look forward to them. And then protein bars are our sweet treats. I used to struggle with fluids on trips because I hated to make extra stops for potty breaks but now i make everyone go when we stop, so we don’t have the extra stops.